Kona Lava Dome

Kona Lava Dome

Which came first, knobblies on road bikes or drop bars on mountain bikes? Cyclocross is currently experiencing a global surge in popularity and with it, a trend of mashing together roadies and mountain bikes. While neither come close to the sport-specific nuances of a pure cyclocross machine, it’s a fun way of creating a bike that doesn’t have to stop when the pavement does.

The concept isn’t new, ideally the donor bike shouldn’t be, either. Daryl Griffith was scratching through the local scrap metal yard and discovered a mid-90s Kona Lava Dome, which he dragged home and stripped the frame of parts and the stock orange paint. After a botched attempt at a re-paint, the project went into hibernation. 10 years or so later, Daryl resurrected the frame and components.

First, Daryl took to the frame with a wire wheel on a grinder before applying a clear coat. “The original wheel set went missing over the years so they were replaced. From the original bike, I used the fork, brakes and seat post. The only new components were the shifters, stem and chain — every thing else was recycled. I made the adapter from an old stem to run the newer 1” style stem and head set.

Purists may sneer, but no claims were made to winning races. This is pure ghettocross — pure fun. Big thanks to Darryl Griffith for the photos.

Kona Lava Dome
Kona Lava Dome
Kona Lava Dome
Kona Lava Dome

  • cyclocross goes back to the early 1900’s, so I’m going with knobblies on road bikes

  • Adrian Salter

    MASH UP or Mest up.silly looking thing.
    I wish people would just leave bike design to people like Giant.

  • Mr Bridge

    Brilliant. Nice to see an old Kona spared the inevitable eBay treadmill of NOS Shimano Exage and purple anodised Ringlé parts. There are no rules when building your own bike, just have fun and ride the damn thing.

  • Patrick

    Totally the most inspiring bike I’ve seen here. To hell with the overpriced salsa fargos of the world, all hail john tomac

  • Mattmoo

    Not as ghetto as my trek8000 based crossbike but just as long…in fact longer. I bloomin love riding mine and highly recommend it.

  • Ian

    Oh, I hate it when you give the “purists” the satisfaction of even a fleeting mention in your write-ups. This bike looks fun. Finding oneself sneering at someone’s homebuilt frankensetup should be taken as a sign to spend less time on the internet and more time actually riding.

  • Ante

    I cant stop staring at it, nIce!!!